Colwith Farm Distillery
Cornwall's first plough to bottle distillery
Nestled within the gorgeous countryside at Lanlivery, Colwith Farm Distillery might seem like a modest industrial building on the outside, but it is something truly special as you step inside.
With two bars lined with mini distills in the middle, shelves packed with botanicals and a beautiful rustic bar at the front where the magic is made, Colwith is getting ready for the summer season ahead - with plenty of guided tours, tutored tastings, gin schools, masterclasses and a brand new vodka school!
Colwith is a fifth generation family business, with the farm purchased in 1904 to grow the famous Colwith Farm potatoes. Brothers Steve and Chris now run the business: Chris on the farm and Steve, the distillery.
In 2010, Steve started producing small batch spirits, initially vodka made using potatoes from the farm. As the demand for Colwith’s vodka grew and commercial sales increased, in 2016 Steve began to think seriously about starting a distillery based at the farm. After obtaining a grant, the construction of the distillery began in 2017 and they officially opened their doors in 2018.
Visitors Centre Manager Jade Hugo spoke to Bodmin Life: “We’re very young as a distillery, but we are
the first plough to bottle distillery in the South West. We specialise in vodka and gin. We have five vodkas - plus a brand new vodka release which is really exciting - and four gins. As a business we are all about showcasing raw ingredients and natural botanicals. Nothing artificial is added, and that’s a really important part of our ethos. Even the water used to make our spirits is sourced from the aquifer beneath the distillery.”
The guided distillery tours and tutored tastings are the most popular experience at Colwith Farm Distillery, with visitors receiving a welcome drink on arrival before being taken on the guided tour in the distillery and finishing with tutored tasting in the bar.
The new vodka school, which launched in April, is an exciting way to experience Colwith’s vodka - being the first plough to bottle vodka school in the UK! Their gin schools and masterclasses are also a huge hit. “The tours are all about understanding the drinks - making everything from scratch with the majority of the fruits and herbs grown here,” Jade said.
Each member of staff lives within a ten-mile radius of the farm, with the business passionate about nurturing local talent. They also support community charity events wherever possible and supply products from the farm to local businesses. During the pandemic, they produced and distributed hand sanitiser to emergency services and businesses and, more recently, they have worked on food pairings with Cornish chefs and hospitality businesses, using their own spirits. When they’re not using their own herbs and fruits grown on the farm, they ensure their botanicals are sourced locally and responsibly from nearby businesses, including seaberries from Lostwithiel and rosemary from the Eden Project.
Putting Cornwall on the map is important to Colwith Farm Distillery, with a huge focus on championing their Cornish heritage.
As the weather improves and we all set out to do more leisurely activities outside, a busy season lies ahead for Colwith.
“We’re starting to really gear up for the summer,” Jade continued. “We’re hiring a few extra people for the season, and have lots of cocktail evenings planned. We really try to utilise the amazing surroundings in the summer.”
Colwith also happens to be home to the world’s best vodka. Their original vodka has won the World’s Best in San Francisco for two years running, and their Cornish dry gin also won gold!
For more information about Colwith Farm Distillery, its guided tours and brand new vodka school, go to https://www.colwithfarmdistillery.co.uk/